Somewhere in a parallel universe, Nicolas Roy is a national hero today.
Early in the third period, the Canes prospect fired a laser over the right shoulder of American goaltender Tyler Parsons to give Canada a 3-2 lead.
When teammate Mathieu Joseph scored minutes later, it looked like Canada was heading for gold and Roy's goal could hold up as the game-winner.
Alas, that wasn't how the script played out.
The Americans fought back with a pair of third-period goals of their own, forcing overtime and then a shootout.
(Because a shootout is such a wonderful way to settle a gold-medal game in which two teams battled their hearts out in terrifically-entertaining hockey.)
In the end, the game and the gold medal wound up on Roy's stick. Troy Terry had scored the shootout's only goal for the Americans, and Roy was Canada's last chance to stay alive.
Parsons had looked impenetrable in the shootout, and Roy attempted an ambitious move. It didn't work. The puck slipped off his stick, and Team USA celebrated gold.
A cruel ending to a high-profile event is even harsher in our social-media world. If you wonder why some players have no interest in being on social media, take a look at the comments on Roy's Twitter or Instagram this morning (and maybe throw him some Caniac love).
Arbitrary skills competition results aside, Roy had a great hockey tournament, and was a surprise standout for a Canadian team that exceeded expectations. In the gold-medal game, the Quebec native was third among Canadian forwards in ice time (23:11), and his three goals ranked tied for fourth among Canada skaters for the tournament. Roy also won 67 of 127 face-offs (53%) during the 11-day event.
Another Assist for Bean
Hurricanes 2016 first-rounder Jake Bean earned an assist for Canada for the second consecutive game, setting up Roy's power-play goal in the third period.
Bean is coming off a hand injury that forced him to miss nearly two months of action for the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League (WHL). The Calgary native seemed to get better as the tournament progressed, and fired a team-high seven shots on net in the gold medal game.
Gauthier Among Tournament Leaders
Another Hurricanes first-round selection, Julien Gauthier, saw his goal-scoring streak end in the final. The big winger had scored two goals - including the game-winner - in Canada's quarterfinal game against the Czech Republic, and then repeated that feat in the semis against Sweden with two tallies and the game-winning goal.
In the final, Gauthier was second among Canada's forwards in ice time (23:52), firing four shots on goal. The Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., native finished the tournament ranked tied for fourth among all skaters in goals (5) and tied for 11th in scoring (7 points).
Results: Hurricanes Prospects in the 2017 World Junior Championship
Czech Republic 2, Finland 1
Canada 5, Russia 3
Recap: Roy's Goal Highlights Canada's Opening Win
Denmark 3, Finland 2
Canada 5, Slovakia 0
Recap: Gauthier Out-Shoots Slovakia & Aho Looks Back
Sweden 3, Finland 1
Canada 10, Latvia 2
Recap: Gauthier, Roy Score in Canada Blowout
United States 3, Canada 1
Finland 2, Switzerland 0
Recap: Welcome to the Quarters
Canada 5, Czech Republic 3
Finland 2, Latvia 1
Recap: Gauthier's Pair of Goals Propels Canada
Finland 4, Latvia 1 (Finland wins best-of-three series 2-0)
Canada 5, Sweden 2
Recap: Gauthier's Goals Set Up Rematch
Gold medal game
United States 5, Canada 4 (SO)
Recap: USA Wins Gold; Canes Prospects Settle for Silver